- The Washington Times - Wednesday, February 4, 2004

Steel fantasia

The new Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles is considered not just a building but a work of art built from 12,000 pieces of steel. Yet the design by architect Frank O. Gehry would not have come to life without the ironworkers who risked their lives to send it soaring. “Symphony in Steel: Ironworkers and the Walt Disney Concert Hall” is on exhibit at the National Building Museum through Aug. 22. Admission is free. 401 F St. NW. 202/272-2448.

Last-laugh losers

The goal of “Last Comic Standing,” one of last year’s breakthrough reality shows, was to be the last comic standing. Rich Vos, Dave Mordal and Cory Kahaney didn’t even make the finals. But they did get a comedy tour, and it stops at the D.C. Improv tonight through Sunday . Tickets are $20. Showtimes vary. 1140 Connecticut Ave. NW. 202/296-7008.

From stage to film

The Washington Improv Theater is taking its show to a whole new medium. Its latest undertaking, dubbed D.C.’s Neutrino Video Project, sends the cast and crew to the streets of Adams Morgan armed with video cameras. A runner brings back the tapes, mixes with music, edits and — presto! — produces a 30-minute film. The action happens every Friday and Saturday night at 10 p.m., beginning tomorrow. Tickets are $10. District of Columbia Arts Center, 2438 18th St. NW.

Jazz strokes

Artist John Diebboll listens to the music of individual jazz performers, then draws pianos — yes, pianos — that reflect his interpretation of the sound. “John Diebboll’s Jazz-Case Piano Drawings,” at the Kennedy Center, displays 12 of his more than 300 drawings, inspired by such as Bill Evans, Thelonious Monk and Charles Mingus. The show opens Wednesday in the Terrace Theater lobby and continues through April 4. Admission is free. F Street and New Hampshire Avenue NW. 202/467-4600.

Red planet travel

Is there life on Mars? Astronautical engineer and Mars Society founder Robert Zubrin believes humans can live there and that they can go there sooner, safer and cheaper than NASA has planned. Mr. Zubrin will discuss his theories tomorrow at the National Geographic Society. “Mars on Earth” begins at 7:30 p.m. in the Grosvenor Auditorium. Tickets are $14. 1600 M St. NW. 202/857-7700.

Jolly good show

To celebrate Sir Winston Churchill’s ties with the United States, the Library of Congress is staging the first exhibition of Churchill materials ever mounted in this country. “Churchill and the Great Republic,” beginning today, explores the life and career of the memorable leader and contains more than 200 items. In the Northwest Gallery, Thomas Jefferson Building, through June 26. Admission is free. The exhibit is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday. 10 First St. SE. 202/707-8000.

Spiritual sounds

Combining the traditions of Zulu with the sounds of Christian gospel music, Ladysmith Black Mambazo has performed with Paul Simon and Dolly Parton, and before the pope and Queen Elizabeth II. The vocal group recently released its new CD “Raise Your Spirits Higher — Wenyukela,” and will perform songs from it on Monday and Tuesday at The Barns of Wolf Trap. Tickets are $24. Performances begin at 8 p.m. 1624 Trap Road, Vienna. 703/218-6500.

Stories from underground

To celebrate Black History Month, the National Trust for Historic Preservation will welcome Spencer Crew, executive director of the Underground Railroad Freedom Center in Cincinnati. His lecture, “The Underground Railroad: A History of Freedom,” begins at 6:30 p.m. on Monday at the True Reformer Building. Admission is free, but registration is requested. 1200 U St. NW. 202/588-6193.

Thomas Walter

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